Aletha Tippett MD's blog

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Lidocaine Chemical Makeup

by Aletha Tippett MD

Well known for its pain-relieving properties, lidocaine can help us with wound care in many other ways. It has been my go-to product for wound care for over 20 years. I always use viscous lidocaine squirted on any dressing. The viscous lidocaine is what is prescribed for people to gargle for sore throats, so I always knew it was safe to put on a wound. It is wonderful for pain relief. A patient might need systemic pain relief also, but the application of topical lidocaine is very effective to help alleviate local pain of wounds.

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study on statins

by Aletha Tippett MD

Oh, what a shock to see a study published on atorvastatin treatment in the adult patients at risk of diabetic foot infection in a recent issue of Wounds.1 The conclusion of this study was that taking atorvastatin for at least three months reduced the risk of diabetic foot infections (DFI). The authors also theorized that statins could prevent infection in patients with diabetes.

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doctor giving patient hope

by Aletha Tippett MD

I have written about so many things over the past years… Maybe now is a good time to announce that I am writing a book called Hear Our Cry, an autobiographical story about 20 years of wound care and limb salvage. The process has had quite an impact on me, reviewing all the pictures and notes from my wound patients from the past two decades.

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Zinc in wound healing

by Aletha Tippett MD

Well, what a surprise to find that what you have been doing all along is really the right thing to do even though you didn’t know the reason. Always, over the years doing wound care, I applied a thick layer of zinc oxide ointment around the patient’s wound, then put my dressing on the wound and covered it with a topping, usually plastic wrap pressed into the zinc oxide ointment.

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Leech Therapy

by Aletha Tippett MD

People from across the country call or email me asking about using leeches for a loved one. Usually, I tell them to try to find someone close to them to administer therapy. Often, the problem is not something a leech could help. I have written about leech therapy before, but maybe it’s time to review how leeches can be used in wound management.

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technology-in-wound-care

by Aletha Tippett MD

In looking at technology that helps in wound care, how many know about—and use—lasers? Cold lasers have been used by physical therapists for years, but cosmetic lasers can also be used. I have had tremendous success using laser therapy on wounds. Healing is much improved (and faster), with less scarring. I am not a technocrat. I’m much more old-fashioned, but the laser is a wonder.

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arterial and vascular disease

by Aletha Tippett MD

This week I saw a patient with terminal peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Seeing him reminded me of how often the severity of this disease is misunderstood. He had had amputation of the toes on his right foot due to gangrene

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medical leech therapy

by Aletha Tippett MD

I was recently reflecting on a past patient that I was treating for toe wounds on his right foot, trying to avoid amputation. His toes kept getting necrotic, to the point he went for a transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) by a fine surgeon.. The surgery was very successful and there was a beautiful flap covering the amputation site of his TMA. Unfortunately, within a day, this flap started turning blue and was showing signs of failure.

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support surface technology and pressure injury prevention

by Aletha Tippett MD

The idea that pressure injuries (ulcers) can be prevented through equipment or device technology is one we must challenge as clinicians. A manufacturer of support surfaces, for example, may try to tell us that their beds, technologically superior, will prevent pressure injuries from forming.

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balancing choice with outcomes

by Aletha Tippett MD

How do you know if you are making right choice for a patient? Or, how do you know if you are even making a choice? This is true in the world of limb salvage. I have witnessed too many patients for which the risk of amputation was too much, and they died. But how do you know what the outcome will really be? You never really know, but you can make your best guess.

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